Tendring: Burglar who stole Christmas presents from homes jailed
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A serial burglar who targeted 10 homes and even stole presents from underneath a Christmas tree has been jailed following a tireless investigation.
Heath Vosper, 31, of Crystal Palace Park Road, London, was convicted of eight counts of attempted burglary and two counts of burglary following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
This follows a spate of break-ins at homes in the Harwich and Tendring area in December 2021.
On 20 December 2021, we received a report of a burglary at a home in Wrabness, with the occupants awoken by the sound of their house alarm.
The occupants checked the property and found evidence of an intruder.
They realised a number of wrapped Christmas presents had been taken from underneath the tree in the dining room.
Damage had also been caused to a door, which had to be repaired at a three-figure sum cost.
The victims were able to provide a full list of stolen items and officers swiftly launched an investigation.
On 22 December 2021, we received a flurry of calls from residents in Artillery Drive, and Stour Close, Harwich, after they received alerts from their Ring doorbells.
The footage showed a hooded individual trying front door handles to properties and cars, while a lookout on an E-scooter kept watch.
Amongst the reports included an incident whereby entry was forced to a car, with cash, a cable and a Sat Nav device stolen.
That same day, a further burglary took place at an address in Goodlake Close, Dovercourt, with the suspects taking a large bag containing wrapped Christmas presents and a number of other items including jewellery.
Net tightens on suspect
On Friday 31 December 2021, as a result of extensive enquiries, a search was conducted at an address in Pound Farm Drive, Harwich – an address linked to Vosper.
A number of stolen items were recovered.
Vosper was identified as a suspect through footage reviewed by officers, he was circulated as wanted and was believed to be in the Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, area.
On 10 January 2022, he was captured on CCTV footage exiting a vehicle near the scene of a burglary in Hopton, Great Yarmouth.
On 12 January 2022, we arrested Vosper in Harwich.
Following his arrest, further searches of addresses linked to Vosper recovered items stolen in the Norfolk burglary.
Accomplice Shauna Reynolds, 37, of Pound Farm Drive, Harwich, was also arrested and later charged with two counts of burglary, relating to the Wrabness and Norfolk offences.
She was convicted of both following the trial and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Vosper was jailed for four years and three months.
Burglaries left victims suffering anxiety
In impact statements provided to the court, the victims of Vosper's offending spoke of the lasting trauma caused by his actions.
One said he had been forced to shell out thousands of pounds on an alarm system and cameras.
“As a result of the crime, both my partner and myself have suffered from increased anxiety and stress over our home security. “I find myself constantly on edge, worried that someone else will come into my home. “Since this offence I cannot go to sleep without checking all the doors and windows to my property are locked due to the anxiety I face without doing this. “The loss of jewellery taken has also had an emotional effect on us as these were sentimental and irreplaceable items.”
'We prioritise catching burglars and protecting your homes'
DC Darren Buckingham, of Tendring CID, said:
“Vosper is a prolific and committed burglar, who caused a significant level of worry and fear in the Harwich area as he targeted homes just before Christmas. “A common thread running through the accounts of victims was the anxiety they are left to deal with as a result of this criminal’s actions. “I hope this conviction and sentence will give them some degree of comfort. “We have worked at pace and with diligence to ensure each of these offences were investigated to the fullest extent. “Tackling burglary is an absolute priority, as we know all too well the lasting impact such crimes have on the victims.”
For advice on how to stay safe and protect your home, yourself, your business and your vehicles from crime, please visit our crime prevention pages.